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Technology for Seniors: Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers

AARP’s 2021 Tech Trends study found that seniors are purchasing more digital devices than ever before. Approximately 29% of older women and 23% of older men own wearable technology, like smartwatches and fitness trackers. Growth in this area is only expected to continue.

We see that trend in action here at Aberdeen Heights, where an increasing number of our residents are using these devices. Data from the Consumer Technology Association shows that seniors are primarily using assistive technology to help monitor blood pressure (55%), heart health (49%), blood sugar (33%), and stress levels (50%).

Making the right purchase can be tricky though. A quick search of “smartwatch for seniors” on Amazon delivered 400+ results. So, we’ve done some of the research for you, to help find the best smartwatches and fitness trackers for seniors.

Smartwatches 

Gadget Review, an independent review site, reported on the best smartwatches for seniors in June 2021. Their top three picks include:

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 

    This device, the “#1 Top Pick,” is designed to make wearable technology easy for seniors. It includes a trip and fall detection feature, as well as health tracking measures for steps, heart, sleep and stress. This smartwatch is also extremely durable and has been tested to military standards.
  • Apple Watch Series 4

    Voted as the “Best Value” by Gadget Review, the Apple Watch is similar to the Samsung Galaxy in that it provides for fall detection and health monitoring. It has a few features that that the Samsung does not, including ECG (electrocardiogram) support and breathing, calorie and general activity tracking. A shorter battery life puts it in second place.
  • Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch 

    Seniors using technology choose this device because it looks more like a traditional watch. It has a four-day battery life, and you can use it for calls, texts, music, emails, calendars and more. It also includes a voice assistant and fitness tracking features. 

Fitness Trackers 

The top three fitness trackers for seniors, as rated by Gadget Review, are all Fitbit models. Each with slightly different features. Top picks include:

  • Fitbit Blaze

    This device was voted as the “Best Quality” option with a five-day battery life and smart notification features. It is considered a health watch, giving you real-time measurements of all your activities. This includes heart rate, sleep, activity, steps, calories, and more. 
  • Fitbit Versa 

    Gadget Review describes this fitness tracker as “a solid piece of wearable technology” for seniors. It has similar features to the Blaze, along with text, call and calendar functions and storage for up to 300 songs. The Versa also comes with two interchangeable band sizes for the right fit.
  • Fitbit Sense

    Ranked as “Best for Cardiovascular Monitoring,” the Sense tracks ECG, oxygen saturation, heart rate, stress, and breathing. It offers a six-day battery life and has extra features for bicyclists. Still, it is less complicated to use than the others, with technology made easy for seniors.

Shipments of wearable technology devices are expected to reach 230+ million by 2024. Don’t be surprised when you see your friends and neighbors at Aberdeen Heights sporting a new smartwatch or fitness tracker for seniors. 

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